Potential of olive mill wastes for soil C sequestration.Waste Manag. 2008; 28(4):767-73.WM
The present work deals with the potential of olive mill wastes as a C source for soil C sequestration strategy, which is based on the high lignocellulosic content that makes these wastes to degrade slowly during composting and after land application. A C balance was performed during the whole life cycle of two different two-phase olive mill wastes (TPOMW): C losses were calculated during the composting process and after soil application of the composting mixtures under laboratory conditions. The effect of the degree of stabilization of TPOMW on the overall C waste conservation efficiency was also evaluated. C losses after 34 weeks of TPOMW composting ranged from 40.58% to 45.19% of the initial C, whereas the amount of C evolved as CO2 after 8 months of incubation of soil amended with mature composts only represented between 20.6% and 21.9% of the added C. The total C losses considering the whole life cycle of the TPOMW showed lower losses compared to composts prepared with organic residues of different origin. Conversely to the typical behaviour of other organic wastes, the stabilisation degree of the TPOMW composting mixtures did not show any significant effect on the total C losses measured during composting and later land application. The low rate of degradation of TPOMW both during composting and after soil application makes the use of TPOMW as a C source an attractive strategy for soil C sequestration.